#2181: Robin & Raphael



Obviously, no company in their right mind would release just *one* of the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles, so that means for the purposes of these here Batman Vs. Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles packs there’s a necessity for a Batman-character to go with each of them.  Yay for the Bat-Family and their now needed inclusion!  Today’s pack is all about teenage rage and an appreciation of the color red!


Robin and Raphael are set two of the GameStop-excluisve Batman Vs. Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles line.  They actually ended up showing up at the same time as the Batman and Leo set, despite the initial plan being one set a month.


There have been six Robins in the mainstream DC universe, and the crossover opted for the most recent of them, Damian Wayne, Bruce’s teenage son.  For the purposes of unique builds and designs, he’s actually a pretty solid choice.  The figure stands 4 3/4 inches tall and he has 27 points of articulation.  Compared to the last animated-inspired Damian figure I reviewed, this one’s a far better articulated offering.  Additionally, his smaller stature means that his joints have a better range of motion than his father did, making him easier to get decent poses out of him.  Robin’s sculpt is a clean recreation of his animation design.  The build is conceivably accurate for a young teenager, going for a slightly cartoony interpretation without looking too goofy.  Unlike Batman and Mikey, Robin gets a sculpted cape rather than a cloth one.  Given the smaller size of the cape, it actually ends up working out alright.  He’s got a separate folded down hood piece which sits atop the shoulders of his cape.  It doesn’t stay in place amazingly well, but it’s easily removed if it bugs you.  Robin’s paint work is certainly the most colorful of the bunch we’ve gotten so far, which is a nice change of pace.  The application is still clean, and the line work still works very well.  Robin is packed with an even more impressive selection of accessories than his dad, with three sets of hands (fists, open grip, and closed grip), a batbomb, two batarangs, a grapple with two hooks, an extra head with the hood pulled up, a staff fully extended and collapsed, a Gotham City manhole cover, and a slice of pizza.


Raphael is something of a rage machine, which makes a degree of sense for pairing off against the usual ragey Damian.  Raph stands 6 inches tall and he has 28 points of articulation.  Raphael’s construction is much like the other two Turtles, and the articulation works much the same as with the others.  The range of motion’s pretty solid on all of them, and his joints are tighter like Leo’s.  Raphael’s sculpt goes for making him the largest of the four turtles, which is an approach I can certainly get behind.  It makes him a rather hefty figure, which pairs him off well with the quite small Robin figure.  It’s a strong sculpt, and I think it’s probably my favorite of the three Turtles I’ve looked at so far.  Raph’s paint does mix things up a bit, making his skin tone a duller shade of green than the other two turtles.  The lines here are also a bit bolder, adding to that overall chunky thing he’s got going.  Raphael includes three sets of hands (fists, open, and gripping), an extra head wearing a helmet, his sais, and a slice of pizza.


I picked this pair up at the same time as the other two, and this was honestly the set I was slightly more interested in.  While Damian’s not my favorite Robin, I’ve developed a real appreciation for him.  This figure’s honestly the best one the character’s ever gotten, meaning he’ll pair off real well with Batman in that regard.  Raph is a pretty darn solid figure in his own right, though, and I don’t feel this set is quite as one-sided as yesterday’s.

Guest Review #0048: Super Sons



The following is a guest review by my dad, writer Steven H. Wilson!  Check out more from him over at his blog, located at stevenhwilson.com

So I bought this set a while back, on new comics Wednesday, and Ethan suggested I review the figures here, and then do a piece over on my blog about the characters and their history. You’ll note that Ethan’s blog is very focused, a new action figure review every day. Mine is not so much. It’s pretty much just whatever the hell I want to talk about, when I want to talk about it. And it hasn’t always been every day, though it has been for a while now. Anyway, here we have The Super-Sons!


The Super-Sons are a two-pack in the DC Icons line, what I’m told may be the last such two-pack in the series.


The fifth (I think?) Superboy in DC Comics history, Jonathan White Kent is the son of Superman and Lois Lane. The original Superboy was Superman, but it’s unclear these days if that was Jon’s dad. The original grew up to be the Superman of Earth One, which was destroyed (more correctly, merged with a few other earths) in Crisis on Infinite Earths. Jon’s father is the Superman of that merged Earth, who when introduced, was established never to have been Superboy [well, at least until they decided he was…–E]. I don’t know if that still holds because DC history is confusing. The other Superboys were Kon-El, a clone of Superman with different powers, Jon-El, sort of the same deal, and, of course, the dreaded Superboy Prime, the young hero of Crisis on Infinite Earths who later went bad.

Little Jon Kent, ten years old, is growing into his inherited powers. He sort of flies, has some strength, and uses his heat vision an awful lot. True to his father’s influence, he’s a boy scout who’s afraid to swear. True to his mothers, he’s utterly fearless.

Previous Superboy figures have included one that came in a two-pack with his cousin Supergirl from DC Direct, and two Superboy Primes released in the DC Direct Infinite Crisis line and the Mattel DC Universe Classics line.

Superboy stands about 3 ½ inches tall and has 29 points of articulation. He comes with the Icons “flying” stand, a clear plastic cylinder section with a slanted top and a pin the attach his foot. Face and body are original sculpts, about an inch shorter than the male adult figures in the line. The facial sculpt is good, capturing Jon’s confident half-smile and eternal optimism.

His “uniform” (or are they play clothes) is well reproduced—a Superman hoodie he found at a second-hand store, jeans with a rip in the knee, a red T-shirt and short red cape. I think perhaps the hoodie is a bit too form-fitting. It’s shown looser in the comics, contributing more to Jon’s “still-growing” look, and his air of casual disregard for his appearance.

He’s very poseable, although I had a hard time getting him into the “Up, up and away” pose shown on the box.

Like all Icons figures, he comes with extra pairs of hands, specifically three this time around.


The son of Bruce Wayne (Batman) and Talia Al Ghul, daughter of Batman’s immortal enemy Ras Al Ghul, Damian Wayne is the sixth individual to carry the code name Robin, the others being Dick Grayson, Jason Todd, Tim Drak, Carrie Kelly, and Stephanie Brown (very briefly). Damien Wayne is 13, short for his age, and pretends he only hangs out with Jonathan Kent because the kid has powers, not because he actually likes him, and not because their fathers have pretty much bullied them into being “friends.”

This is the sixth Damian Wayne Robin figure, the last coming out from Mattel’s DC Comics Multiverse line just recently, as well as one from Mattel’s online subscription service, two from DC Collectibles’ Son of Batman and Lil’ Gotham lines, and one from DC Direct’s Batman Incorporated before that.

The figure stands about 3 inches tall, with 29 points of articulation. The facial sculpt shows Damian pouting and angry, because, if Damian ever smiled, his head would explode in order to expel his face away from it with as much force as possible. Or maybe he’s just pissed that the figures so accurately represent how much smaller he is than his junior partner.

I wish he had come with an interchangeable head, so that he could be displayed with his hood up. He does come with a five sets of hands (in fists, flat, two different grips, and with bloody talons), and a staff to make up for not having a flying stand.


I looked forward to the Super-Sons title, because I was a kid when the original Super-Sons were having their imaginary adventures. (More about them on my own blog.) It’s such a completely hokey idea, and it was always great fun. I think Peter Tomasi has integrated the hokey idea into a fun book that works for a new generation of more-sophisticated (read: really jaded) readers. I was glad to see them rendered in action-figure form, since I doubt the original “Superman, Jr.” and “Batman, Jr.” (Yep, those were their names!) ever will be.

#0782: Robin




Pretty much since his inception, Robin has served as a stand-in for Batman’s son. It adds to the whole surrogate family aspect that the creators built over the years. And, in classic TV Sitcom fashion, when said son grows up and starts to grow up and become less cute and adorable, they just bring in a younger model. Hey, those dark-haired, similarly built, already athletically trained orphans all need a home, right? Eventually, there came a point where they dropped the “stand-in” bit entirely and just gave Batman an actual, biological son to serve as the next Robin. Okay, it was more convoluted than that, but just trust me here. Anyway, his son was named Damian and also had the notoriety of being the grandson of Batman villain Ra’s Al Ghul. Damian’s whole story was adapted into one of the more recent DC animated movies, titled Son of Batman, and said movie got action figures, which included the Damian figure I’ll be looking at today.


Damian2Robin was released as part of DC Collectibles’ four figure assortment for Son of Batman. Said assortment was actually part of DCC’s larger DC Animated line of figures, which includes Justice League: War, Justice League: Throne of Atlantis, and Batman vs. Robin. Damian is figure #08 in the overall line, making him the third figure in the Son of Batman assortment. Which is weird, what with him being the title character and all. Oh well. The figure is about 4 ¾ inches tall and has 13 points of articulation. The articulation is rather on the stiff side here.  You can get some decent poses out of the arms and legs, but the neck (despite being a ball joint) isn’t good for anything more than side to side movement, leaving him perpetually staring down. While the rest of the animated figures are built from mostly shared body parts, Damian gets his own unique sculpt. Not terribly surprising, since his build is so notably different from the others. What’s interesting to me is that this sculpt doesn’t seem to have been sculpted with any real re-use in mind, since just about every piece has a character specific element to it. What’s more interesting is the amount of details not present in the sculpt. Despite it clearly being a unique piece, things such as the straps holding his arm and shin guards in place and his belt buckle are just painted on. Maybe they wanted him to look like the rest of the figures in the line? Slight oddities aside, the sculpt is fairly well handled. The proportions are nice, and what sculpted details are there are sharply defined. One frustrating thing is the figure’s copyright information, which is stamped onto the interior of his cape. While the figure hides in from most angles, thee fairly obvious lettering does jump out at you occasionally. As noted above, a certain degree of Damian’s costume details are handled via paint. The paint here is a marked improvement over the prior animated figures I’ve looked at. The lines aren’t fuzzy, he doesn’t have any obvious scuffing, and bleed over is minimal. There’s still room for improvement, but he doesn’t look half bad. Damian is packed with one accessory: a Katana. It’s reasonably well-sculpted, and he can hold it alright, though it’s not particularly imposing.


I got this figure from my local comic book store, Cosmic Comix, during the annual “Biggest Sale of theYear” event. I picked him up in part because he was reasonably cheap, but also because I kind of like Damian, and I didn’t yet own a figure of him. Despite being the son of Batman, and serving as Robin for a few years, the figures of Damian Wayne are rather limited. To date, he’s had five, counting this one. DC Direct made two: one was from before he was Robin, and the other, while a nice figure, had a hefty aftermarket price. The next figure was from Mattel, and was….how do I put this? Abysmal. Like, they gave him bulging muscles and stuff. That left me two options: the super cartoony Lil’ Gotham version, or this one. I think I chose well. This figure’s got a handful of drawbacks, but the overall result is pretty good.